Fools Gold MTB Race
By fellow AMR Michael Coleman
I just got off of work at 930pm on Friday and I was rushing to meet up with my local shop owner @ Apalachee Cycles in Dacula. We planned to carpool the next morning and he gave me a place to crash at the shop so we could leave pretty early. Well most guys I know never sleep that well the night before a race and I was one of them. I probably slept for no more then 4 hours of sleep??? Up at 4am and out the door by 430 we went.
We both signed up for the 50miler and this was to be my first long distance race. The closest Ive done before was the 5 laps at Fort Yargo that made up 55 miles. I was pretty excited to be here and actually racing it for once, Im usually one of the aids at the sags but not this year. We pull into the winery and its dark and slightly cool, the parking lot we are assigned is a field that looked and felt like it was just cut. Cars upon cars are arriving and I go pick up the packet and head back to the car to clear my mind.
Well the time is arrived and I start walking to my buddies car and realize something did not look right on my bike. (#$@%) I forgot my water bottles at the shop!!!!! Well with my luck I had a spare never been used cheap knock off bottle in the car and my buddy gave me one that looked and smelt like it had been in his car for awhile. But a Monkey has to do what a Monkey has to do!!!
Now Im not going to lie, I knew I was not going to even come close to placing and I was more excited about winning the Turtle award for last and getting the free beer then anything. My goal was just to finish!(Mind you this has not been my year for racing and training) Off we go and I start spinning and spinning. It might help if I tell you I decided to ride my Niner S.I.R 9 SS with a 32x21 and yes wait for it……. FULL RIGID!!!!! The fire roads were fun and dodging the military vehicles and locals was fun, but the sound of low flying helicopters almost made me change my bibs!!! For the first half I felt fine, my quads were getting alittle tight and I knew they were slowly about to cramp on me, but I kept pushing. When we got to Bull Mtn that’s when things got real for me. I cramped like I haven’t in sooooo long. Down I go and I reached for the packet of mustard I was told to take (now I was told this would help, I am still on the fence about it though), and sucked it down like a gel. I still had yellow in my beard when I walked away. Bull sucked, I was craving a front shock soooo bad I was ready to go Angry Ninja Monkey on someone out there. I came to the 3rd sag and just threw down a soda and took off, Jake Mtn was waiting for me and I didn’t want to disappoint. By this time I started to feel a tight sharp pain in my left knee cap and this had me kinda worried. So I went a little slower then normal. I had my first of two mechanical's that day, and they were both the same problem. All that descending loosened up my saddle and it kept popping from the post and going straight up on me. Fixed the saddle and kept going and going. Crossed the wonderful creeks and finally met up with this lady that was in the same situation as me and just wanted to finish. We stayed together till the hills, she would lose me going up and I would catch and lose her going down. 4 miles to go and its all fire road and regular roads, im by myself for now until I get about 2miles there and I spot my friend. I finally catch her on the last creek and we both shot up the grassy hill and I just BARELY snaked past her. But we both finished and I came and landed on the ground still amazed I finished my goal. My eyes started to water cause I knew down in my heart I was racing this last one for my grandmother who is very sick and I wanted her to know that her grandson did this in her honor.
But like I said this is prob my last race in Georgia, I move next month to start a new chapter in my life. I just signed on to work at Lynskey and I will be moving to Chattanooga, Tenn. Its been great being a Monkey, and maybe I’ll be able to spread the word to Tenn and maybe score a sweet Ti 29er ;) - Michael Coleman